James 3.1-12

James - A Faith That Works  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  37:03
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Watch What You Say

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INTRO
What is the most poisonous creature in the world…
The most poisonous animal is not a snake or a spider. It's a beautiful little frog! Most frogs produce skin toxins, but the poison dart frogs from Central and South America are the most potent of all. The golden poison frog (Phyllobates terribilis), contains enough poison to kill 20,000 mice or 10 people. It is probably the most poisonous animal on Earth; it is so toxic that even touching it can be dangerous.
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Mosquitoes cause more human suffering than any other organism -- over one million people worldwide die from mosquito-borne diseases every year.
Malaria
Dengue
Yellow Fever
West Nile Virus
Zika Virus
One Creature on the planet far out-strip even this toll of destruction...
Thats right cartoon people!!
just people !!… people with tongues !! … The pen is mightier then the sword...
Main Idea: We need to recognize that the tongue is untamable, capable of great damage, and an indicator of our hearts, but God has a gracious provision in the gospel for our sinful words.
PRAYER
A - Father in Heaven we praise your name!
C - LORD God we confess that we are by our very nature sinful. We recognize as Isaiah did that we are a people of unclean lips. We bring you praises one day and curse our neighbors the next.
T - Thank you God that you are patient and longsuffering with us. Thank you for using your word to create us, sending your word to save us, and letting your word live within us… We pray that today your Word might change us, renew and restore us.
S - Father we need your Spirit to renew our minds and put us in order.
We lift up those of our family that are sick, hurting, suffering
MESSAGE
Matthew 15:18 ESV
18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.
Matthew 12:36 ESV
36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,
James...
James 1:19 ESV
19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
James 1:26 ESV
26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.

A Distinct Standard

James 3:1–2 ESV
1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.
The Strictness in Teaching
James 3:1 “1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”
God’s Word is Holy
Gods word should be used / taught / sighted / spoken ...
truthfully
wholly
reverently
Therefore those who teach will be judged with greater strictness !!
The Standard in Speaking
James 3:2 “2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.”
The person who can honestly claim that he never says anything wrong or out of place, James says, can consider himself perfect. A person who can control his tongue can control his entire being.
Surely James wrote that as his personal tribute to the Lord Jesus. That wondrous Person had lived with him in the same home in Nazareth for many years. He had attended the same school and synagogue and had worked beside him at the carpenters bench. Then, for three and one-half years, He had traversed the length and breadth of the Promised Land teaching, encouraging, debating, rebuking, and warning. How well James knew it. He and Jesus had grown up together.
Looking back on that experience, James pondered the significance of it all. He had never heard Jesus speak a cross word or tell a lie. He had never heard Him answer back. He had never heard Him say anything suggestive or vulgar or say anything of which, afterward, He would have felt ashamed. He had never heard Him speak angrily in a fit of temper or say anything that called for an apology. On the contrary, everything that Jesus ever said had been wise, loving, kind, and true.
John 1:1, 14 “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” .... “14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Do you want to grow in Christ likeness?? begin with working on what you say!

A Devastating Sentiment

James give here 3 illustrations of explanation and emphasis…
James 3:3–6 ESV
3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.
The Underestimated Tongue
James 3:3–4 “3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.”
It might be little but it is meaningful
Words Have Power
Words Reveal Hearts
Do not underestimate the power of the tongue…
The Uncontrolled Tongue
James 3:4–5 “4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!”
causes damage / destruction / desolation
James 1:19 “19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;”
James 2:12 “12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.”
toothpaste back in the tube !!
Shipwreck of the faith...
When no-one is at the helm the ship goes off course
Consider the damage done to you or by you in your life through the power of the tongue!
The Unholy Tongue
James 3:6 “6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.”
a fork tongue is what started this whole mess in the first place !!
1 Timothy 4:1–2 “1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,”
Recognize the depth of wickedness one can perpetrate with the tongue… Do not be deceived, a tongue out of control is not out of control !!
Luke 6:45 “45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
Jeremiah 17:9 “9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
The story is told about four men who decided to share their personal weaknesses one with another. The first man confessed that his one, fatal weakness was kleptomania. He was a compulsive thief. Usually, he pilfered only small items, but the fact remained that he stole things.
The second man confided that he was an alcoholic, a secret drinker. He managed to hide his weakness, but there it was—he drank.
The third man admitted that he had a weakness for women. He, too, had been able to conceal it so far. He was ashamed of it, but, sad to say, he had indulged in numerous clandestine affairs.
Then came the turn of the fourth man. The others looked at him expectantly. What was his secret vice?
“Well, I’ll tell you how it is, fellows,” he said. “I don’t steal, drink, cheat on my wife, or anything like that. I’m a terrible gossip—and I can’t wait to get out of here!”

A Dangerous Situation

James 3:7–8 ESV
7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
James 3:2 “2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.”
Perilous Predicament
We can tame a Dog but not our tongues?
Full of deadly poison
Romans 7:24 “24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”
Do not lose hope for there is hope yet for us all what we need is…

A Divine Support

James 3:9–12 ESV
9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
John 4:10–14 “10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.””
John 7:38 “38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ””
What we need is a new Spring / a new Vine / a new Root / a new heart to speak from
Jesus Forgives
He forgives your past wrongs
Jesus Restrains
He trains you to restrain future speech
Jesus Renews
He remakes us so that we no longer want to talk how we once did
Isaiah 6:5–7 ESV
5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
Colossians 4:6 ESV
6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Ephesians 4:29 ESV
29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Proverbs 8:6 ESV
6 Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right,
James 2:12 ESV
12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.
CLOSE
Group Questions
Recall a time when you’ve hurt someone with your words. What was motivating you?
What’s wrong with the idea that our actions, and not our words, are what really matter?
How does this compliment or contradict the fruit of works?
The God of the Bible is the God who speaks. How should that reality affect our view of words, including our own?
Explain why the potential for great damage is so great in the case of teachers.
What are some characteristics we should look for in teachers of God’s Word?
What do our words tell us about our hearts? Why is the tongue so difficult to control?
How would you counsel another believer whose conversation is often impure?
What are two or three practical ways you can be more careful with your words?
How do James’s instructions apply to social media—texts, e-mails, Internet communication, etc.?
What should we expect from unbelievers in terms of their words? Explain your answer.
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